It is the kind of story you might expect in a piece of TV fiction, but it happened to Morgan Large, a reporter with Radio Kreiz Breizh, a community radio station based in Saint-Nicodème, a village in Brittany’s Côtes d’Armor department.
Large was on the point of driving off on 31 March when she noticed that nuts had been removed from one of the rear wheels of her car. This malicious act, which could have put her life in danger, is not the first of its kind. Ever since she and her radio station began investigating state subsidies for agribusiness companies, they have been subjected to repeated acts of harassment and intimidation, as have other journalists covering intensive farming in Brittany.
“This was an extremely serious act of malice,” said Pavol Szalai, the head of RSF’s European Union and Balkans desk. “RSF and this journalist are considering what legal action could be taken. Meanwhile, we urge local elected officials to condemn this act and to combat the temptation to impose a media blackout on issues related to intensive farming in Brittany.”
Last December, Radio Kreiz Breizh was broken into twice while Large’s home was the direct target of a serious malicious act. Inès Léraud, a freelance journalist who has covered the environmental impact of Brittany’s intensive farming, has been the target of social media smear campaigns and two defamation suits that were withdrawn just before they were due to come to trial.
The Breton journalists collective Kelaouiñ is planning to hold a demonstration in Rostrenen, a town near Saint-Nicodème, at noon on 6 April in protest against this latest act of intimidation.
France is ranked 34th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2020 World Press Freedom Index.